It is inevitable that this Congress is going to make some major spending cuts and something you like and I like is likely to be cut!
by Charlie Leck
There will be cuts! It’s inevitable.
I don’t think it is likely to be things that directly affect seniors – you know, our Medicare programs or Social Security benefits. Those fellows who want to get reelected are fully aware of the voting strengths of seniors in America. I also don’t think it will be to Obama’s highest achievement – his health care program – because the bean counters have made it clear that the program really will save us money.
Nevertheless, count on cuts being made to things you particularly don’t want cut. In my case, it’s transportation funding. I’d gotten very excited in the last year about the talk of high speed rail travel (European or Japanese style) that would connect all the major cities in America. I was looking forward to boarding a train here in the Twin Cities and ending up in Manhattan 8 or 9 hours later – perhaps after a good night’s sleep in a comfortable private room. Kiss the idea of a high speed rail system goodbye – at least in my lifetime.
Roads will suffer, too. If you drive much, you know how badly in need of repair and rebuilding are America’s federal highways – as is the massive Interstate system. Those repairs and rebuilding will be postponed and there will be lots of patchwork done instead. The American Society of Civil Engineers has publically said that a trillion dollars should be added to our current level of spend just to maintain a state of good repair to meet the demand that will be placed on that infrastructure.
Farmers, I think, are going to lose many of the federal aid payments they’ve gotten in the past. That, of course, will knock off another whole bunch of family type farms and play into the hands of the corporate farm movement. The ethanol production program has already taken a serious body blow from which it will probably not recover.
A lot of the experimental energy programs that Obama had hoped for and promised in his campaign will be seriously delayed.
Expenditures on defense will take a hit, but not as serious a one as I think it deserves. There is tremendous waste in our military system and it really should be cleaned up. It probably won’t be.
What else? Education? Tuitions will blow the caps off college and university attempts to control their rise. Bong! It will be difficult to attract teachers at the elementary and high school levels because salaries will stagnate and benefits will be cut back. There’s a decade of trouble ahead for America’s education system.
What about federal parks and recreation lands? Budgets will be cut for these institutions and the quality of service in them will be reduced.
We’ll also spend less on watching over our environment and regulatory programs and research on environmental dangers will be cut back.
Already there’s talk about reducing the regulatory controls that were put in place after the banking scandals of the last decade. Watch out for your money and the scalawags who want to get their hands on it!
All of this will last an election cycle or two – perhaps even a decade – and then those in command, as well as my children and grandchildren, will have to pay to rebuild a nation decayed by inattention and proper care.
History will look back on the Tea Party and declare that it brought disaster to America and America’s standard of living.
Other nations will have raced past us before we realize the mistake we’ve made. This was not the time to cut and run. This was the time to invest. America is a very wealthy nation and we could easily have afforded it.
Selfishness did us in!
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